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Big freeze leaves more potholes

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Local councils have warned that the cost of road repairs will soar in the UK as the freezing weather leads to a higher number of potholes than usual.

The caution to taxpayers over the multi-million bill for road repairs came as transport secretary Lord Adonis said that gritting should be reduced to half that of peak levels in order to store salt for further wintry weather.

Lord Adonis said it "will be challenging for some" councils to prioritise the use of salt, but added it is required to prevent other areas running out of stock completely.

Engineers have estimated a £2 million bill for road repairs, twice the amount spent for repairs following the cold snap last February.

A spokeswoman for Buckinghamshire Council said that the authority had already crossed its budget of £1.2 million allocated for road maintenance.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We want local authorities to implement a system of regular, well-managed maintenance - not to leave things until they deteriorate to the point that repairs become urgent and more costly.

"The Government has more than trebled funding to local authorities for investing in their roads and last year announced new funding to help local authorities better assess the condition of their roads."

© Press Association 2009